Monday, September 10, 2012

Your 2012 Giants are 79-61: Recking the Rockies

Sorry, but I got a lot of work, so this one will be a quickie.  But once you see the stats, hopefully you can see why.

Game one has Vogelsong (3.29 ERA) vs. Alex White (Who? 2-8, 5.31 ERA).  Here is what the MLB says about White:
White earned a no-decision when he last faced the Giants, on August 12 in San Francisco, throwing four innings and allowing three runs on seven hits. He has not pitched past the fourth in his last seven outings.
While Vogie has struggled, he actually had 2 good starts until his bad one against AZ, and while you can write off the one in Houston as the competition, he did the other against the Braves.   Given the comment about White above, we should win this game, with the caveat that Vogie has a 4.66 ERA in 6 games, 2 starts there.  He had a bad start there earlier this season and a good start last season (4.15 ERA as the new, now, Vogie then).

Game two has Bumgarner (3.15 ERA) vs. Jhoulys Chacin (4.50 ERA).  Bumgarner has a 2.59 ERA in 5 career starts there, 20 K vs. 6 BB, and an 0.89 ERA over 2011-12, shutting them out last season, and only giving up 2 runs in 13.1 IP this season.  Chacin, coming back from injury, has not done very well, and against SF in his career, he has a 4.94 ERA in 4 starts and 1 relief appearance in Colorado, and in a start earlier this season, threw 4 IP and gave up 4 runs.  Also looks like it should be a Giants win.

Game three has Lincecum vs. Jeff Francis (5.38 ERA).  We know Tim has a lousy ERA but since the All Star game, it has been pretty good, even if his starts are never dominant nowadays.  Francis has come back from injuries himself, been healthy this season, but not too effective.  He has a career 4.30 ERA against the Giants in Coors Field.  If Tim has his usual (i.e. recent game), we should win it but he has had his ups and downs.  But he has a 4.08 ERA in his career (and that was when he was reliably good).  Could go either way, but I would lean towards a win.

Overall, looks like it should be a sweep, but there's always something going wrong somewhere, a pitcher would fail and/or the offense will sputter, and we end up with a loss.  But for one of the few times in visiting Colorado in the history of the rivalry, we look good for winning a series here in Mile High Stadium.  And all we need to do is keep on winning series and that should get us to the magic number sooner than later.  Oh, and Schulman noted that the Giants have won 9 of 10 in Colorado the past two seasons.

And Posey has continued to make his case for MVP.  He had an amazing sequence batting in the  6th versus Blanton, who was quoted as saying it was one of  the best at-bats ever against him, as Posey fouled pitch after pitch, until he got the mistake he wanted, and hit a homer.  Fangraphs covered it nicely here.


He has simply been amazing this season, just in general, but then you throw in there that he is STILL recovering from a devastating ankle injury, a part that catchers generally put a lot of pressure and work on it, makes it all the more impressive.  Part of me still believe that he willed the team to victory in 2010, and the way this season is going, that belief is growing with each feat he performs.

The first game will bring SF even with LA in the number of games left to play.  With 22 games left to play, if the Giants win the first game, their magic number would be 16 games.  With the D-gers facing tough series coming up - D-Rox in Colorado (always rough on any team), then Cards in LA, then Nats and Reds on the road, three strong playoff contenders, with LA playing for the Wild Card lead with the Cards, who are 1.5 games ahead of LA right now - that is 12 tough games for them.  Lets say they go 1-1 in Colorado, then 3-1 in LA (just for arguments sake) vs. Cards, then split Nats and Reds, 3-3, that's 7-5.  The Giants could go 6-6 and they would only gain one game in the standings, leaving them 4 to 5 games back, with only 9 games left to play.  And if the Cards play them even, 2-2, that's 5 to 6 games back (depending on what the Giants do on Monday).


  1. Tron bad, Panda worse, lose game one. Magic number still at 17. We need Bum to step up here and Panda to stop hacking at crap. doyers have Shaw going so it'll be tough to reduce that MN by two...

    1. Eh, the team is a grinder anyway, so one game at a time. As you astutely noted in another comment, the D-gers are headed into a tough gauntlet of top teams, so once they get out of that meat grinder, while we have it relatively easier, we should be that much closer to MN=0.

      I rather let Panda hit in Colorado and see what happens. If he don't figure it out, then give him a rest in the next series and give Arias some starts since he has hit LHP well. Plus, Panda hasn't been hitting LHP well at all, so maybe give Arias all the starts and let Panda work at getting his weight down and batting stroke down while out. Maybe, also, his hammy is still bothering him more than reported.

      Plus, luckily, this is early 21st Century and not early 20th Century, and Kershaw can only pitch one of every five games, and not more often. The D-gers will have to pitch lesser pitchers in-between and they should rack up the losses, look at the way they have been playing, no spirit at all that I can tell.

      We laughed at Latos for his mercenary comment about the 2010 Giants but there is some truth to that, taken in context of Machiavelli's The Prince. In that book, he noted that mercenaries are not as trustworthy as your own people, who are more invested in the outcome (i.e. victory). And that, to a degree, applies in the microcosm of a baseball season. Hard to generate Instant Camaraderie (tm) when a new player is added, or to ensure that the chemistry isn't upset by the additions. Not that players can't come in and instantly fit it, but neither should that be a given either.

      In the Giants case, Scutaro had fellow Venezuelans to welcome him in, and I think that shared background, and relative isolation, plus a certain degree of homesickness, helped Marco fit in instantly. Pence is a goofball type who I think can fit in anywhere.

      In the D-gers case, both Hanley and Beckett came in with bad reps, and A-Gon wasn't that squeaky clean either, though loads better.

  2. EPIC!

    Pagan ties SF Giants franchise record for triples in a season with 12, tying Willie Mays (and Steve Finley).

    Almost as epic: Giants win, 9-8, leading 9-6 entering the 9th, almost the same moment D-gers losing to D-backs, 1-0.

    I finally realized how LA benefits by swapping back Kershaw to Tuesday (today) from Sunday. They had originally moved Kershaw up, probably just in case they could sweep the series and catch up with the Giants. After the Giants won the first game, though, they had to maximize the opportunities to win. Kershaw would probably be sure winner over Zito, but Kennedy would probably be a sure winner over Blanton. By switching back, Blanton has a chance to beat Zito and Kershaw has a much greater chance of beating Kennedy than Blanton.

    Of course, the plans of mice and men: D-gers lose both games.

    Brandon Belt hero of game, 2-4, HR, 2B, 4 RBI. Little did they know (though it IS Coors, so maybe not) that his HR that made it 9-5 was so important. But Posey went 2-3, double, 2 runs, 2 walks, 4 times on base. Scutaro 2-4, run and RBI.

    Oy, Bumgarner had another bad start, a Disaster start, though with 2 more outs it would have been a 3 PQS game. He was just BABIPed with 11 hits in 4.1 IP.

    Bullpen mostly delivered, Kontos 2 K's for 0.2 IP, Mijares 2 K's for 0.2 IP, Mota 4 K's for 1.1 IP. Then Affeldt gave up 2 hits and a run with no outs, Casilla getting out of that mess for 1.0 IP. Then Romo gave up 2 runs in 0.2 IP before Lopez gets Save 7. That has been the beauty of Bochy's closer-by-committee, if your closer du jour is just not up to it that day, you can bring in someone else without the media jumping all over that, like it would if Wilson is brought out in a save situation.

    Tommorrow: Timmy vs. Francis. As we all know, Coors is a horror house of mirrors, so wacky games like the first two in this series will happen. Unfortunately, our starters were not able to keep the runs allowed down, but this is Coors so I'm willing to give the starters a break until the next series, which will be in Arizona for 3 games (3 lefties, against whom the team has done very well, in fact, basis of most of their above .500 record (50-47 vs. RHP, 30-15 vs. LHP; 80-62 record).

    One more win guarantees a non-losing season. They are now 9-4 against Colorado, which guarantees a winning season against Colorado. Also, this win puts the Giants, who was under .500 on the road, at 40-31, which matches their 40-31 record at home (though also because they have been horrible at home for almost 2 months, 9-15; meanwhile 16-5 on the road!).

    The magic number is now 15 - any combo of Giants wins and D-ger losses. They start their gauntlet of games against division leaders (we got our sequence like that in July, if I remember right, and did OK) on Thursday, with 4 with Cards at home, then 3 vs. Nats in DC and 3 vs. Reds in Cincinnati. The good news for them is that they will get the usual amount of rest despite travel, no day game first of series following a night end of series sequence. Still, 10 tough games, and they did not rise to the occasion against the Giants, nor against AZ tonight. And in Arizona, a hitters park, though that goes to show how important it is to have an elite starter like Kennedy around who can shut down offenses no matter what type of park. Pitchers RULE! (Mostly :^)

  3. Tonight felt like a loss, even though we reduced the MN to 15. Awful, awful, AWFUL Panda; bad Bum; bad Affeldt; bad Romo. We gave up 18 hits....EIGHTEEN?!?

    I detest Coors Field and AL baseball....can't wait to get out of Denver. Not very hopeful for Freak tomorrow....

    On the bright side: Pick had a 4 RBI game and MVP looks locked in. Should be Chez3 behind the dish tomorrow and MVP at 1B, which pushes Pick to LF. Grab some pine, Shark.

    Maybe we can grind out another 12-10 win.

  4. Wow, Lincecum did just enough, had a 5 PQS start, though a lot of walks again (6 IP, 6 hits, 4 walks, 8 K's, 1 HR). Bochy just burned through the bullpen, Kontos 1 batter, Mijares 1 batter, Casilla 2 batters, Affeldt 4 batters, Mota 2 batters, Lopez 1 batter, Romo 1 batter, all for a 8-3 win in Coors.

    That just seems excessive, but this is Coors, after all, so I'll let Bochy go on this game, just get the win in the bag while you got it. But I hope he starts using other relievers to eat up innings and give our main relievers more rest, though still enough work to stay sharp.

    Offensive won it today with 5 runs in the first, which was enough to win, ultimately. Blanco tripled to lead off and Scutaro singled for the first run, and they never lost that lead. Every starter had at least a hit and at least two total bases (Blanco 4; Scutaro 3; Posey 3; Pence 3; Arias 2; Belt 1, oops, OK he didn't; Hanchez, 2; Crawford 4). Scutaro 2 Ribbies, Arias 2 as well, Crawford with a key 2-run double to punctuate the first inning, moving it from 3-0 to 5-0. Amazingly: zero walks but 12 strikeouts. Wow, and stolen bases by Blanco, Scutaro, and Belt (11th).

    I heard chanting for the Giants again in the Coors crowd.

    Meanwhile, at around the same time, A-Gon fails and the D-gers lose, falling to 7 games behind the Giants now. In fact, the D-backs are now only 3 games behind the D-gers and getting close enough to sniff the second wild card slot, even though they are roughly at .500, 71-72. The Cards currently hold that spot, but just ahead of the D-gers.

    Now the Giants head at Arizona, get tomorrow off though.

    1. Oh, so the magic number is down to 13 now. If the Giants go 10-9, the D-gers must go 17-2 to win the division title.

  5. Yup. The Rockies got wrecked for sure. Gints are 21-7 on the road since the break. Giants fans don't know quite what to do with themselves, all this winning.

  6. Doyers offense in pure freefall...magic number is now 12! Horse on the mound in AZ tomorrow.



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